Once a seed is planted in your head, you can't seem to shift it, no matter what you do. It might be the Rick Astley classic or, in the case of Spero Courtis, it was the VW Golf R and the modifications he planned for it.

Having owned a 2008 Volkswagen R32, Spero was prepared to build a car that was OEM+ yet could tear up the tarmac when he pressed the loud pedal.

In order to do this, he assembled a badass team that comprised NGP Racing and APR - two of the biggest VW tuning icons. And so Team Super Smurf was born with the sole purpose of getting the Golf R into shape.

Although subtly upgraded, VW enthusiasts will instantly recognize this car is something special. That's primarily thanks to the Osir carbon fiber lip kit that includes a three-piece front spoiler as well as some sharp-looking blades on the factory side skirts. In the rear, you'll find both a carbon hatch spoiler and diffuser that frames the APR tailpipes.

The tuner had a big hand in creating the powerplant for this VW, which meant the car had a six-month vacation in Opelika, AL while APR developed the new components.

They began by cracking open the block to replace the internals with specially coated 9.9:1 low compression pistons, wrist pins, rods and bearings. A ported head would also help gasflow to the GTX2867R turbo that would additionally require upgrades to the fuel system, intercooler and a turbo-back exhaust.

With the turbo developing 30psi, the VW engine was rated at 500hp and 500 lb-ft, so inevitably some drivetrain upgrades were required. They comprised a stage 3 DXD Racing clutch for the six-speed manual gearbox, as well as a Quaife limited-slip and Haldex Race controller to get the power to each of the Michelin tires more effectively.

Big brakes were also a necessity, with NGP Racing fitting a set of VWR six-piston front calipers and 352mm grooved rotors, covered by 19" HRE P40S wheels.

NGP Racing was also responsible for the suspension upgrades, with a set of VWR coilovers taking pride of place. The handling was then fine-tuned with both VWR camber plates and sway bars to find the right balance.

With its increased accelerative and cornering force, a pair of European-spec Golf R seats was considered a valuable addition, although their alcantara center panels meant the stock rear seats had to be re-trimmed to match.

Other interior touches included an NSP boost gauge in the driver's vent, as well as the Haldex controller and a Passport radar detector.

With his vision complete, Spero dedicated his Golf R to his godson Will-I-am, who suffers from autism, and his daughter, Jojo. Both of them are very important people in his life, as are the friends he found while building this very special Volkswagen.

Tech Spec

2012 VW Golf R

Engine
2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI 16v turbo with APR coated pistons and rods, balanced rotating assembly, balance shaft delete, ported head, GTX2867R turbo, boost tap, intercooler, software, high-pressure fuel pump, low-pressure fuel system, turbo-back RSC exhaust system, VWR engine mounts

Drivetrain
six-speed manual transmission with stage 3 DXD Racing clutch, Quaife LSD, Haldex Race controller, VWR mounts and short shifter

Brakes
VWR six-piston front calipers, 13.85" two-piece grooved rotors

Suspension
VWR Streetsport+ coilovers, camber plates and sway bars

Wheels & Tires
19x8.5" ET47 HRE P40S wheels, 235/35 R19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires

Exterior
Osir carbon fiber front spoiler, side blades, rear spoiler and diffuser

Interior
European-spec Golf R front seats, matching alcantara inserts on stock rear seats, New South Performance vent-mounted boost gauge, Haldex controller

Thanks
Will-I-am, Jojo Spero, APR, NGP Racing, Robert Scholz at BKS Tuning, Corrado Mallia at Corrado Murals, Speedfreak Detailing, Proshield Protective Films, CAS Design

By Mike Meszaros
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